The post below was written a few years ago, when we lived in Florida. Something similar happened yesterday with Riley that made me remember writing about it, and knowing that many of you weren’t my blog readers back then, I’m going to share it again today. It’s still so, SO applicable!



This adorable little guy is my darling dachshund Riley. The two of us spend quite a bit of time together each day, and I’m very aware of his likes, dislikes and daily habits. Yesterday, I noticed that something was amiss.

He seemed to be chewing at his foot a lot and favoring that foot when he walked, so I sat down with him to take a look. Now, Riley typically doesn’t mind my giving him a onceover; in fact, he usually likes the attention. But this apparently wasn’t a typical situation, because he faught me tooth and nail! That actually could be considered a pun in this story, because he had one nail that was much longer than the others. I don’t know if it was missed the last couple of times they were trimmed, or what, but it was very long regardless.

If he was upset about my looking at it, he was IRATE when I went to cut it! He wiggled and tugged and whined and tried to push my hand away with his muzzle. I actually had to prolong his agony a little longer, just because he was fighting me. One snip is all it would’ve taken, but I had to wait for him to stop his carrying on to do it. The whole experience got me thinking about us and God.

How many, many, MANY times do we have a habit or a problem that we know is harmful to us, or causes pain in our lives, but we hang on to it, limping along and content to do so? In some bizarre, twisted way we get possessive of it, or convince ourselves we don’t need anyone’s help. We’ll just take care of it ourselves, we say. That would be fine if we would actually do it, but most of the time we don’t – or we can’t. Maybe the problem has simply grown too big for us to handle. Or, maybe we’re not sure exactly what the problem is. Something isn’t right, but we just can’t see it.

I’m constantly amazed at our stubbornness (note that I said OUR) when it comes to getting help. One of my favorite names for God is “El Roi – the God who sees”. Our God knows us through and through, and is privy to the outcome of our lives. He not only sees the immediate picture, but the big picture as well. If we know that to be true, then why do we insist on either trying to hide our issues from God, or simply electing not to seek Him when we’re not sure what’s going on? We are no different from Riley. Often, when God is urging us to let Him help, we fight Him tooth and nail. We’re afraid it might hurt to address our problems, or, if we don’t know what our problem is, we’re afraid it might be something scary or painful. Oh, if we would just hold still and let Him do His work. Even if it hurts a little in the beginning, we can trust Him to see us through to His best for us. The place where we’re free from the issue. The place He has wanted to take us all along.

Like I said, one snip was all it took. Thankfully, Riley quit fighting me. He listened to my quiet assurances that he would be okay and seemed to relax when I held him tight. Once the nail was clipped, he pranced away, limp-free – totally free – with a spring in his step.


I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.” John 15:2 MSG

“My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:2 ESV